The Lagos State government has restated its determination to sanction inbound travellers and passengers who flout the protocol of the federal and state COVID Pandemic Law.
It has also warned residents of the state to resist the urge to support passengers who are defaulting in the required protocols.
In a statement signed by ‘Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Health, Lagos State, the state government said it had observed “a disturbing trend of false accusations by some defaulting international travelers” about the implementation of COVID travel protocols as laid down by the Federal Government, especially around inbound travelers from the RED-listed countries like South Africa, India, Brazil and Turkey.
It particularly cited the case of one Adesola Adeleke, who flew in from South Africa and attempted to bypass the system, thus putting several innocent people at the risk of contracting COVID-19.
The statement read: “Adesola Adeleke originally arrived at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) on the 25th of July 2021 alongside seven other passengers on Rwandan Airline in transit from South Africa at 1:30pm.
“After the usual rigorous reconciliation of headcount at the Port Health Authority, it was discovered that six of the passengers, including Adeleke, could not be accounted for.
“Even though Adeleke had made the required payment for COVID tests and the mandatory isolation prior to leaving South Africa, she left the airport in Lagos knowing full well that she was contravening the law and her passport was retained by the Nigerian Port Health Authority.”
Ten says after absconding, on the 5th of August 2021, the Medical Director of the Mainland Hospital (Infectious Disease Hospital), Yaba, Dr. Abimbola Bowale, reported that Adeleke (who had now been put on the ‘Absconded’ list returned because she had not been able to retrieve her passport without fulfilling her obligation to quarantine at one of the designated hotels of her choice in Lagos.
Ogunbanwo said further: “Her payment was confirmed, and she was informed she had to continue her quarantine for the next seven days before being released. This information was communicated to her, and she was also provided with a list of available isolation hotels.
“She selected an option for her isolation, which only caters for accommodation without feeding. This was brought to her attention that feeding would be a separate arrangement with the hotel.
“Adeleke’s day-two test was conducted on the 6th of August 2021 and the result came out negative, but her day seven test on the 14th was positive which required extension of her isolation.
“She argued that she could not have been positive and requested a repeat test. A new sample was done by the Lagos State Government at no cost to Adeleke, which was performed on the 16th of August 2021 and released on the 17th of August 2021.
“The repeat test returned positive.
“On the 17th of August, the hotel management called our attention to a man at the facility, claiming to be Adeleke’s father, attempting to forcibly take her away, irrespective of her status.
“The hotel was asked to allow her to leave as they were being violent and creating a scene.
“Since this incident, Adeleke has made sensational news to avoid being penalized for her actions.
“In summary, she avoided initial isolation by absconding to Ibadan, despite being aware of the protocol and only returned to try and collect her passport.”
The government said its investigations and evidence produced revealed that Adeleke’s claims were totally false, and had affirmed that she (Adeleke) would “be made to face the consequences of the Coronavirus Law of 2021 based on the allegations that have been levelled against her in a court of law.”
According to the statement, since the commencement of the isolation of passengers from the red-listed countries, the state has successfully quarantined 4,448 passengers (as at the 19th of August 2021) and identified 58 POIs (Persons of Interest) who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus despite a negative test on arrival.